Attraction Openings and Closings at Walt Disney World
A nightclub will return to Disney’s BoardWalk. A beloved attraction is apparently gone for good. Another will start from scratch, and Disney has torn down an old ride.
We’ll take the good with the bad in the latest Disney parks update.
A Closing and an Opening
I know it’s been a while, but do you remember dancing at Disney’s BoardWalk? Two nightclubs here entertained guests for years before the pandemic.
Well, one of them has announced a return in a matter of weeks. Yes, Jellyrolls will apparently reopen in mid-October.
The nightclub hasn’t announced an exact date yet, but pianist Scotty Kilwein shared the news in a Facebook Live video.
Jellyrolls has officially started hiring workers. You may recall that the performer known as Piano Rob indicated during the summer that he wouldn’t return:
Many people took this to mean that Jellyrolls would hire an entirely new staff or at least a new batch of musicians.
None of the new job listings is for entertainers. So, let’s all remain hoping that our favorite dueling pianists all return.
In attraction closure news, this one isn’t confirmed, but the situation looks grim. Voyage of the Little Mermaid at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is apparently gone forever.
Last month, the attraction didn’t participate in the Disney Princess Week across the parks. Now, cast members have removed all signs of FastPass+ queues here.
On its own, that move wouldn’t seem significant. However, unlike all the other rides where Disney has changed the line queue signage, Voyage of the Little Mermaid gained new seating.
The former attraction queue area now features several benches. For park guests, these added seats provide more relaxing spots to take a break.
So, you should remember them during your visit. However, the fact that Disney has done this seems like a strong indication that the show isn’t returning anytime soon.
A Rebooting and a Destroy-ing
Another story is half-closure/half-reopening. Yeah, it’s weird. The Finding Nemo musical at Disney’s Animal Kingdom won’t return in its current form.
Instead, Imagineers are currently crafting an entirely new show that’ll debut in 2022.
Notably, Disney committed to the return of In the Big Blue World and Go with the Flow.
So, that’s the beloved movie song plus the one created for the musical that we know will be back. Beyond that, we’re all guessing.
The old version of this attraction was quietly among the most technically ambitious shows in theme park history. Any replacement will have some work to do to match it in quality.
Finally, Disney has taken the final step with the now-defunct wildcat roller coaster, Primeval Whirl.
Perennially ranked one of the worst Disney attractions in guest surveys, Primeval Whirl closed for good last year.
Even before that, Disney had reduced the coaster to seasonal status. So, its ending felt, if anything, overdue.
This week, Disney started demolition on the former site of Primeval Whirl.
Obviously, this decision has triggered speculation about why Disney is reclaiming the space.
Rumors have persisted regarding a re-theming of DinoLand U.S.A. However, the pandemic had previously crushed all forward moments on major projects.
With Destination D-23 less than two months away, the timing here definitely seems curious. It’s a story to track for sure.
Speaking of Reboots…
We are less than a week away from the highly anticipated 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. As such, it’ll be a news-heavy week.
Before then, I want to tie off a previous story that I’ve mentioned a few times.
Disney officials finally decided that they needed to say something about The Princess and the Frog re-theming coming to Splash Mountain.
The beloved Magic Kingdom ride experienced extensive downtime over the past three months.
Simultaneously, scaffolding appeared at seemingly random intervals, causing people to wonder whether Disney had already started the re-theming.
That is DEFINITELY not the case. In a recent interview, an Imagineer revealed that merely planning the new look could take two or three more years.
As such, the Splash Mountain you know and love, warts and all, will remain throughout the 50th birthday party.
Disney has scheduled the end of the event for March of 2023. You can reset your expectations for the new version. It’s probably at least two years away from reality.
I suspect Disney just wanted to clarify the subject before this event so that everyone knew where the company stands on Splash Mountain’s original theme.